Are You Wasting Your Time Quoting?

Are you wasting your time quoting?

If you are like many business owners, you or your salespeople, spend a lot of time working on quotes. 

Yes, quotes can be the lifeblood of your business…but quotes that are not converted to sales are a waste of your time and money! 

Why do some businesses convert 75% of their quotes while others struggle to achieve 15%?  It’s all in the way you see what quoting really is.  It’s only a part of your sales process NOT your entire sales process. You see, sales is a step-by-step process, just like anything else in your business.  So you need to work out the best series of “steps” that will create sales in your business.

9 Tips To Improve Your Conversion of Quotes to Sales

  1. Work out exactly who your ideal clients are.  Use the 80:20 rule.  Your top 20% of clients will most likely account for about 80% of your turnover and profit.  What defines this group?  You need to understand what’s really important to them.
  • Become known for filling a niche.  Don’t try to be all things to all people.  Recognise what your true strengths are and what you don’t do so well.  Then focus on your strengths and on winning those jobs that you can truly do well. 
  • Be willing to not quote.  If the opportunity doesn’t fit your niche or your ideal client profile, don’t waste your precious time.  We’ve all taken on work or clients for short term gain when that little voice inside our head has been saying “don’t go near this client”.  Typically, we end up servicing these types of clients poorly, doing our business harm in the long run.
  • Be professional in your communication with prospects from start to finish.  Very few businesses actually acknowledge when they get a request to quote from a prospective client.  How you communicate with them at the beginning sends a strong message about how you’ll communicate once they become a client. 
  • Create a quoting system.  You may think that all your jobs are different, but in almost all cases there will be common processes you need to go through.  A client of ours who owns a steel fabrication business (where “every job is different”) created a quoting system and cut his estimator’s quoting time by 80% while increasing his accuracy.
  • Turn your quotes into Action Plans by integrating ‘sales and marketing’ messages into them.  Use quotes to reinforce the benefits and compelling reasons to choose you instead of one of your competitors.  If you don’t give your prospects a reason to choose you, they will simply base their decision on price. 
  • Follow up and follow up again.  When was the last time a supplier followed you up professionally?  You never know where a prospect is in their buying cycle.  If you follow up well, you’ll impress them with your professionalism. 
  • Know your numbers!  Make sure you keep track of your leads, number of quotes and conversion rate so you know how your business is performing. 
  • Just because a prospect said “no” today, doesn’t mean they’ll say it again tomorrow. What do you do with the prospects that weren’t converted to a sale?  You already know these people have a need for your products or services (they called you!).  Stay connected and build a relationship through marketing regularly to them with special offers and product or service innovations – the results will surprise you!